Motorcycle boots aint made for walking...

So how important is a good pair of motorcycle boots? Well pretty important if you want to stay healthy, according to the motorcycle injuries statistics I have looked at.

Over 80% of motorcyclists who are injured in a crash have injuries to their legs, including 16% to feet and 23% to ankles.

Your feet are the part of your body that are most likely to make contact with the road, causing injuries even when the crash occurs at relatively slow speed. The injuries occur in several ways:

  • direct impacts 
  •  being trapped between the motorcycle and other vehicles 
  •  being trapped between the bike and other objects like the abrasive road surface.

Tests of 21 well known brands of motorcycle boot against the European Standard, found that none passed the impact resistance test and only half passed the crush resistance test. However there is evidence to suggest that good motorcycle boots can significantly reduce the risk of foot injuries.

Thankfully the manufacturers have moved on since those tests were conducted, and you should have no problem finding a boot that suits your safety requirements and looks good as well!

How can you tell if they are "good" motorcycle boots?

What to look for.

If the boots meet the European Standard they will be marked EN 13634. If not, it is very difficult for you to tell how good they are. Many riders and their pillions still wear street or sports shoes. Whether you are trying to decide the safest choice from your current shoe collection or buying some motorcycle boots, here are some design features to help guide you in your choice.


Boots must be comfortable. They should be neither too tight nor loose. If they are too tight, your feet may go numb particularly if you are also cold. Check whether you can mount, ride and operate all the controls freely. Can you walk normally, climb stairs, bend over, crouch and pick up your keys from the floor?


In order to provide protection, ideally motorcycle boots should be at least 160 mm high from the inner sole and provide impact protection for the shins, instep and ankles.

  • How are the soles attached? Sewn is stonger than bonded, and most good boots are both. Many sports style motorcycle boots have soles that are only glued on! They would be ripped off in seconds if your foot is dragging along a road.
  • How are they fastened? If you just have to pull them on, they can also be pulled off in a crash, just when you really need them. Be careful about this if you are doing long distances on you motorcycle. They should have oil resistant soles and be sufficiently waterproof for you to walk through a puddle. Most well built motorcycle boots will achieve this with ease if they are leather. Look out for some of the lighter style boots though, if they have nylon paneling in their uppers, they may be OK for a summer ride, but useless in winter.

Mum my feet are a funny color…

If you don't want your socks and feet turing the same color as your boot, the leather should be marked as complying to ISO 11642 which is a test of colour fastness in water.

Avoid boots that allow your foot to overhang the edge of the sole. Look for at least 10 mm clearance from the edge to the upper. I refer to this as the Doc Martens style, a boot which I first came across when I was at school in th 1970's and still wear today! (not the same pair though!)

Look for thick abrasion resistant uppers. Leather should be at least 2.5 mm thick. Look for thick soles - at least 4 mm not including cleats.

 If you want to look online for a pair of boots, take a look at these brands from the motorcycle gear page....

....Axo, Alpinestars, Chippewa, Diadora, Double-H, Fieldsheer, Firstgear, Fly Racing, Fox Racing, Gaerne, Icon, Joe Rocket, O'Neal, River Road, Teknic, Thor, amongst many others.

If you can't find a pair in that lot that you really go for, what's your problem? OK, you can always try . They supply a massive range of motorcycle boots, plus other styles that would be suitable in my opinion, like the SWAT type assault boots (the leather ones) made by Bates. And one of my favorite, the Doc Martens! And if you want the absolute best, see if you can find a pair of BMW motorcycle boots. Very comfortable, waterproof, well made, just one drawback….. … when you see the price tag you will know what it is!

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Copyright Motorcycle parts accessories and more, Michael Holmes 2004